Thinking about buying a new electric car? Better get your order in before July 1st as the Irish Government is going to cut the grant for buying an EV from €5,000 to €3,500.
In a statement, Zero Emissions Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI, an office within the Department of Transport) said that: "The grant has been in operation since 2011, supporting the purchase of over 40,000 electric vehicles in that time. The private vehicle grant provided early adopters with an incentive to switch to an EV, with almost €200 million in funding granted for the purchase of privately owned vehicles over the past 12 years."
ZEVI said that other grants and incentives would remain in place at their current levels, including the grants for electric vans and taxis.
Equally, the Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) rebate will remain in place, which offers a maximum of up to €5,000 off the on the road price of a car, although that is subject to a maximum price of €50,000 and is tapered between €40,000 and €50,000.
In a statement, ZEVI said that: "Ireland has a buoyant demand for vehicles; 2022 saw an 81 per cent increase in registration of EVs compared to the previous year (CSO). As of end December 2022, there were 73,574 electric vehicles on Irish roads. This year we are also seeing the arrival newer EV models on the Irish market that are lower in cost.
"Government investment strategy for electric vehicles will begin to rebalance towards supporting EV charging infrastructure. This change aligns with similar polices in European nations, where countries including Norway, Germany and France have begun to curb vehicle subsidies and government investment in EVs is moving towards infrastructure."
Interestingly, as the Government has name-checked Norway in its statement, the latest move to trim incentives flies in the face of Norwegian advice. That advice has always been to flag any changes to incentives well in advance to allow car makers and buyers to plan ahead sufficiently. Ireland's car importers and dealers will doubtless be aggrieved at these changes, as with only three months between now and the change of registration plate in July, many vehicles will have already been ordered from factories on the basis of current prices and incentives.
Equally, the move to cut incentives will put a new electric car further beyond the reach of those on lower wages at a time when reducing our emissions - nationally and individually - has never been more critical.